Sometime, many times, homeowners have wondered why their lawns are always covered with so many flies.
If this is you, do lawn grubs attract flies? Grubs can attract flies, but it’s more likely because of their decomposing bodies and that of their predators than anything else.
On one hand, grubs can be beneficial because they help break down organic material and provide food for many plants and animals.
However, they can also be harmful to the lawn if left unattended.
These pests can cause devastation to your yard that will take hours of hard work to repair.
They’ll also drive you crazy because these little guys can be hard to spot sometimes.
This blog post is going to discuss how grubs attract different types of animals due to the food source they provide for them.
We’ll go over how and why flies are attracted to your lawn.
What are lawn grubs?
Lawn grubs are the larvae of various beetles that live in your lawn.
They mostly eat plants in the grass and dirt.
There are seven most common types of lawn grubs:
- European chafer
- June bug
- Japanese beetle
- Asiatic garden beetle
- Masked chafer
- Scarab beetle
These wormlike insects have three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae.
The head of the grubs is shaped like a peanut and is covered by special skin.
The inner part of this skin is soft and can be easily cut with a knife.
The grubs are about 1 inch long when they come out of their egg cases, so you can see them very well from a distance in the lawn.
It takes 3 to 4 weeks for grubs to hatch from the egg.
After going through three developmental stages (instars) and two molts, before third-instar grubs molt into adulthood in late summer or early fall.
Adult grubs live about 1 year.
However, June Beetle adults live a long 2 to 3 years.
Do lawn grubs fly?
We all know that various species of beetles and flies, including the ones in your backyard, are able to take flight at will; whether for feeding or for mating purposes.
The same is true of the grub.
Mature grubs aka beetles fly when they are adults, but not grubs; rather they crawl, scamper or drag themselves along at all times.
Although they do not have wings, the grub can propel itself three to four inches in the first five seconds of its escape from a lawn.
The need to escape from the lawn is at least partially instinctual; because in the process of wriggling, the grub tends to loop up on itself; and as a result it curls up its body like a spring and wiggles more rapidly.
What damage can lawn grubs do to a lawn?
Lawn grubs damage your lawn in several ways:
- They eat the grass and roots of the grass, which can kill or weaken it
- They make large holes in the lawn and sometimes make the soil look like a pile of dirt (Find Out: Will a Lawn Level Itself? DIY Yard Grading Tips)
- They produce a foul odor or smell
- Some types of beetles can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal problems to pets when ingested
Do lawn grubs attract flies?
Poor sanitation and lawn care are often blamed as the reason why mosquitoes, black flies, houseflies, and other insects are attracted to your lawn.
But do grubs attract these pests?
Although flies are not directly attracted to grubs, they may be attracted to the odors they give off when they die and decay, or upon excreting waste materials.
Lawn grubs feed on decaying organic matter, such as vegetable garden waste, manure, and dead animal carcasses, which in turn attracts flies and other insects such as spiders.
On the other hand, larval grubs are a favorite food source for many insect predators, including chubby assassin bugs, wasps, ghost spiders, ants and other fun-to-watch predaceous insects.
Armadillos, birds, skunks, raccoons and moles are large grub eaters and feed on both the adult and grub stage.
The June beetle grub is also a favorite food source for many species of frogs, lizards, snakes and other vertebrates.
What are the dangers of flies in my backyard?
Fly infestation is both a nuisance and a health threat.
Flies bite and contaminate food, leaving behind germs that can cause food poisoning.
They are also known to spread diseases such as dysentery, typhoid fever, salmonella and other gastroenteritis.
Food poisoning, urinary tract infections and other ailments are caused by microbes brought in by flies when they bite.
Flies breed in the spilled sewage of humans and animals.
They also breed in any decaying vegetation or animal matter.
Other flies lay eggs on drying laundry and the skin or hair of animals or insects, which leads to severe itching or rashes.
The flies that infest the yard of your home can enter through open windows, doors and other openings.
Signs you have lawn grubs
Oftentimes people know that they have a lawn grub infestation when they start to see the grass turn yellow and die or feel spongy when stepped on.
When this starts to happen, you’ll likely notice a drastic change in your lawn’s health that may seem out of the ordinary.
Your lawn may also start to get covered in different colored patches with green grass, brown grass or maybe even bare soil.
Lawns that are infested with a population of grubs will typically have one distinct patch that is more severely damaged than all the others.
Typically, you’ll also find small suspicious holes that look similar to ant hills in the lawn.
If you see any of these signs, then it’s likely that your lawn has a grub infestation.
Increased activity of raccoons, moles, and birds in your backyard can also be an indication that you have a problem with lawn grubs.
What are the signs of flies?
It’s not a variety of “pest” you’d expect to find in a clean and well-tended garden.
But the fly can be a real problem for those who want to grow grass and plants but find themselves constantly on the verge of being driven mad by insects.
The signs that you may have an outdoor fly invasion are unmistakable, and include conditions that provide a favorable opportunity for breeding where they lay eggs.
A colony of maggots will thrive in a compost heap, in a pile of leaves and grass cuttings, in rotting wood or in a hollow tree.
Other attractive open food sources around your residence are broken bird-eggs, decaying vegetation from plants in your garden or wild weeds that have been left to mature out of control.
Any place where there is an ongoing food supply.
Are flies attracted to cut grass?
Tall grasses make an excellent home for a variety of insects, one of which is the fly.
Mowing and other lawn activities can create a habitat for different bugs if proper care is not taken.
Although not attracted to cut grass specifically, flies are definitely drawn to wet and moist areas.
If you notice flies congregating on your freshly cut lawn, it’s possible that they could be after the larva which might dwell there.
The fly’s larvae then feed on decomposing organic material in the soil and will burrow into plant tissue to feed.
A short stroll through the grass is all it takes for a fly to find fertile soil and a host plant.
Lawn care tips for preventing the spread of lawn grubs
The number one way to prevent grubs is to fix any missed turf damage.
If you see a patch of turf:
- remove grubs with beneficial nematodes
- apply lawn fertilizer that contains a grub inhibitor
- periodically spray lawn with a grubicidal pesticide and herbicide that contain trichlorfon and carbaryl
- control grubs with milky spore bacteria
What to do if your lawn is infested with flies?
If you have a large infestation of flies in your yard, there may be some simple steps you can take to reduce fly numbers.
- clean up debris and organic matter in the yard
- use lemongrass oil citronella products in outdoor spaces
- place outdoor fly traps around the yard at dusk
- use an insecticide with pyrethrin in your yard
- install window fly screens if you have a severe infestation
- spray plants with botanical oil repellent made from rosemary and cedarwood
- bag trash to reduce maggot populations, especially in dumpsters and trash bins
The white worms you see crawling around your yard are likely to be lawn grubs.
They look like tiny white worms, but they’re actually beetles.
And they’re very tasty to both birds and insects.
If you have a problem with flies buzzing around your house, lawn grubs might be the culprit.
Flies are attracted to many things such as garbage, dead animals, decaying vegetation, and even human waste.
But when they become too abundant, they can cause problems. To control their population, simply remove any dead plants from your yard.
Take care when mowing the grass, trimming trees, and removing leaves from your yard.
Also, make sure to clean up any debris near your house, including piles of leaves, wood chips, and mulch.
And finally, install a fly trap near your porch or door.